Prepare Your Vacation Rental for Weather Emergencies with These Must-Have Items

By The Distinguished Guest / Jan 14, 2017

Let’s face it: weather-related emergencies happen. And Mother Nature doesn’t really care how much time and money your guests have spent on their vacation.

So, hosts and managers, show your guests that you care more than she does and stock your vacation rental in preparation for power outages, snowstorms, and other worst-case scenarios. It can make a huge difference not just for your guests, but for your own peace of mind as well.

And even if the worst never happens — knock on wood — guests know that you care enough about them to take extra steps to keep them safe.

Here’s a list of what I keep at my rentals and you should too:

Emergency kit

This is a one-and-done solution with a full stock of emergency supplies including items I would never think of myself, like 200-hour glow-sticks for power outages and nutrient-dense food bars. Here is one I like.

Flashlight with extra batteries.

You’d be surprised how many rentals fail to stock a flashlight and batteries! It’s likely that you have one at home collecting dust in your junk drawer so it’s easy to overlook this little-used but essential detail at your rental. The extra batteries are as necessary as the flashlight itself. Don’t forget to check on it periodically to make sure it still works.

Emergency radio

A crank-powered radio allows guests to stay informed on weather patterns in the event of a power outage. Here’s one I liked so much I decided to sell it in my store. It even has a USB charging dock for smartphones!

First-Aid kit

This essential item is separate from the Emergency Kit which (as a general rule) does not include quite as many first-aid products. A good first-aid kit is essential and should be placed somewhere guests will be able to access it.

Canned food

This one is extremely important as we ease into winter, the season with the highest potential for guests to be stranded anywhere. If you live in a cold weather climate, consider stocking your pantry with canned goods and other non-perishables so guests don’t go hungry in the event of a snowstorm or power outtage. (If you have a gas stove, include a pack of matches so they can light the burners!)

Bottled water

Grab a value pack [about 24 bottles] of bottled water and store it. In the event your pipes freeze or the water is cut off, this can be a literal life saver.


Keep these emergency items in a locked owner’s closet/drawer but let guests know they are available if needed. If they need them, tell them they simply have to call you for the combination in an emergency. Why? I used to leave supplies in unlocked closets until a set of guests helped themselves to my emergency bottled water and finished it all.

Weather-related emergencies are a bummer no matter what. But with these items on hand, you can take some of the sting away for your guests!


Stay tuned to the Properly blog for more posts from me, Alanna Schroeder ofThe Distinguished Guest. I’ll be providing tips and tricks for hosts and managers, with everything from housekeeping hacks to post-season cleanup tips to interesting before-and-after studies of vacation rentals that are doing it right. Many thanks to Properly for inviting me to contribute!

Share Story